Detroit Tigers: Current Toledo Players Who Could Help
By Ben Rosener
Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila will soon navigate baseball’s annual trade deadline. With the Tigers contending, the team needs reinforcements. Here are some Toledo players who could help.
Detroit Tigers outfielder Tyler Collins was recently recalled to the team and has so far made a positive impact on his return. The outfielder has collected a RBI in a pair of games since a lengthy stint in Toledo.
In addition, Bruce Rondon has excelled out of the bullpen, and Michael Fulmer has obviously been dominant starting games. Fellow call ups like Steven Moya, Buck Farmer, Dustin Molleken, Matt Boyd and Warwick Saupold have all shown
The Tigers need reinforcements, and acquiring players capable of making an impact from outside the organization could be tricky. Detroit doesn’t have a loaded farm system, and what quality young players the team has, they’ll likely look to hang on to.
Based on that, the most logical source of reinforcements could very well be the Tigers’ Triple-A affiliate. Here are some Toledo players who could make an impact with Detroit down the stretch.
Chad Bell, Starting Pitcher
Acquired for Bobby Wilson from the Texas Rangers, Chad bell could help the Tigers in both the rotation and the bullpen.
In 18 games at the Triple-A level, the 27-year-old is 6-3 with a 3.31 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 68 innings pitched. Opponents are hitting just .248 against Bell, who has made 10 starts on the campaign. As a spot starter and long reliever, the former Texas farmhand could give the Tigers some valuable innings.
JaCoby Jones, Infielder/Outfielder
Jones’ development is the key here. The prospect has started to show better with Toledo after initial struggles, however he’d need to turn things around more to be called up. What’s more, even if he was tearing the cover off the ball, Jones probably needs to be playing every day at this point.
That being said, there is obvious appeal in calling up the former Pirates farmhand. A tremendous athlete, Jones has raw power and the ability to rack up double-digit steals in a season. The fact that he can play in the infield and outfield doesn’t hurt either.
John Hicks, Catcher
John Hicks will probably only be called up if one of James McCann or Jarrod Saltalamacchia get hurt or when rosters expand later in the season. Still it’s good to have Hicks as depth. In 63 games for Toledo, the former fourth-round pick is hitting .299.
The 26-year-old, who graduated from the same high school as Justin Verlander, has also added 36 RBI, 33 runs scored, 14 doubles, 10 home runs, two stolen bases and a triple for the Mud Hens.
Blaine Hardy, Logan Kensing and Buck Farmer, Relief Pitchers
These three are known commodities to Tigers fans, as all have pitched out of the bullpen at one point or another sometime this season. Hardy has been solid for Toledo, pitching to a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings. If he can exhibit the same form he showed in 2014 and 2015, the Tigers will have another dependable reliever to turn to.
Kensing has been similarly solid (2.73 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 33 innings pitched) since joining Lloyd McClendon’s team. He posted a 1.93 ERA in 4.2 innings for Detroit early in the season.
Rounding out the list is Buck Farmer, who has pitched to a 3.94 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 16 innings for the Tigers. With Toledo, the right-hander has worked exclusively out of the rotation, so he could potentially help Detroit in that regard should the need arise.
Dixon Machado, Shortstop
Similar to Hicks, Machado would only be called up if Jose Iglesias or Ian Kinsler went down injured. While a .259 batting average isn’t anything to write home about, Machado is just as flashy a defender as Jose Iglesias, and would be one of the better defensive shortstops in the Majors if he were a full time starter at present.
Despite the low batting average, the 24-year-old does have a respectable 20 extra-base hits this season. That’s solid production from a shortstop.
Preston Guilmet, Relief Pitcher
Signed to a minor-league deal in the offseason, Guilmet has turned in an excellent season pitching out of Toledo’s bullpen. In 45.2 innings pitched, the former Brewer has posted a 2.36 ERA and 40 strikeouts. Over the same span, he’s only allowed five walks and three home runs. The right-hander has allowed just four hits over his last 8.2 innings pitched.
If Detroit is seeking another alternative in the bullpen, they should look at Guilmet before seeking reinforcements from outside the organization.
Alex Presley, Outfielder
Recently signed to a minor-league deal, Presley could give the Tigers a different look off the bench if Steven Moya continues to struggle on defense and Mike Aviles continues to post a low batting average. Presley is a career .253 hitter with 40 doubles, 26 home runs, 25 stolen bases and 16 triples in 376 career Major League games.
So far in two games for Toledo, the outfielder has collected a double, a triple and a pair of walks.
, Starting Pitcher
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A former sixth-round pick of the Rockies in 2007, Riordan has logged 19 starts for Detroit’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliates this season. In just three starts with Toledo, the starting pitcher is 1-0 with a 1.66 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 21.2 innings pitched. More encouraging is the fact that the 30-year-old has allowed just one walk.
It’s an extremely small sample size, but if Riordan can continue to post high strikeout and low walk numbers, he could be a fit in the bullpen.
Casey McGehee, Corner Infielder
Casey McGehee logged just one at-bat with the Tigers this season, but he has the potential to make an impact as a bench cog. Capable of playing either third base or first base, the veteran would likely step in and start if anything happened to Nick Castellanos or Miguel Cabrera.
If McGehee can perform at the level he did in 2014 with the Marlins, he’d be well worth a bench spot. In 160 games for the Fish, the veteran hit .287, posted a .355 on-base percentage and proceeded to drive in 76 runs and smack 29 doubles while only striking out 102 times.
Based on McGehee’s production with Toledo this year, he looks much more like the hitter who excelled in Miami than the one who faltered in San Francisco. In 87 games for the Mud Hens, the corner infielder is hitting .328 with an .839 OPS. He’s also added 38 RBI, 27 doubles, five home runs and three stolen bases in just 87 contests.
Next: Tyler Collins' Opportunity
The 33-year-old has hit at a particularly blistering pace over his last 10 contests, putting up a .484 batting average to go along with seven runs scored, four RBI and a pair of walks.